Silence Dogood essay 11: "Sir, From a natural Compassion to my Fellow-Creatures ..."
In the eleventh essay from the 13-20 August 1722 issue of The New-England Courant, Dogood follows up on the scheme to aid indigent widows by lightheartedly promoting a relief project for a different group of women--virgins at least 30 years old. The essay features the written request of "Margaret Aftercast," an older virgin who, when younger, was the object of many admirers. Aftercast concludes her three-point petition by asking for Dogood's assistance in developing "a Project for the Relief of all those penitent Mortals of the fair Sex, that are like to be punish'd with their Virginity until old Age, for the Pride and Insolence of their Youth." In reply, Dogood proposes to provide financial relief for virgins,
whereby every single Woman, upon full Proof given of her continuing a Virgin for the Space of Eighteen Years, (dating her Virginity from the Age of Twelve,) should be entitled to £500 in ready Cash.
Dogood's project was not without its own exceptions. The proposed society would neither admit women over 25 who have "entertained and discarded Humble Servants, without sufficient Reason for doing so" unless she repents in writing, nor pay out the £500 in cash to eligible women who had denied "good Offers" since becoming a subscriber.
To examine the entire newspaper, please see the online display of The New-England Courant, Number 55, 13-20 August 1722.
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